Service Record - What does it mean?

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by Lau, Jul 17, 2019.

  1. Lau

    Lau New Member

    Hi all,

    I've been browsing the site for the last few weeks as I've been trying to piece together where my grandfather might have been during the war and what he might of been doing. I know he was posted to the 5th Batallion Wiltshire Regiment and was in France and Netherlands. I've found some great advice on this site and read a couple of books such as Hill 112 and The Fighting Wessex Wyverns and a regimental book for the 5th Wiltshires

    I've also managed to obtain his service records but I'm not entirely sure what they mean. Before he embarked there's a lot of mention of HQs but I've no idea if that's at regimental, brigade, division level?

    If any of the below makes sense to anyone, I'd love to hear more about what it was about and any further reading.

    Appreciate any help that anyone can offer
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Seems he was posted to HQ 43rd Division in 1943 & stayed there.
    Lau likes this.
  3. Lau

    Lau New Member

    Hi Owen,

    Thanks for the quick reply. I think the line before he embarks says about being transferred to the defence platoon? Would it of been likely that this is where he remained for the duration of the war?
  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    That what it looks like to me.
  5. PackRat

    PackRat Well-Known Member

    It looks to me like:
    • From ITC (Infantry Training Centre, Basingstoke?) posted to 50th Battalion, The Wiltshire Regiment (Territorial/training battalion). Then posted to 'A' Company, 5th Battalion, The Wiltshire Regiment.
    • Appointed Unpaid Lance-Corporal with effect from 4/7/42 (then immediately appointed Paid Lance-Corporal)
    • Appointed Unpaid Acting Corporal with effect from 2/1/43 (then immediately appointed Paid Acting Corporal)
    • Granted the War Substantive Rank of Corporal with effect from 2/4/43, having held the rank of Acting Corporal for 90 days.
    • Permanently Attached to the [43 Division] HQ Defence & Employment Platoon and is Taken On Strength of War Establishment [of the] Employment Platoon [security for senior officers] with effect from 6/4/43
    • Transferred from Employment Platoon to Defence Platoon [local security of Div HQ]
    • Promoted Unpaid Acting Serjeant
    • Granted Paid Acting Serjeant
    The 1944/45 war diaries of 43 Division HQ (G/GS Branch) if available might give you the best idea of where he went, as the defence platoon would usually be with Divisional HQ.
  6. Lau

    Lau New Member

    That's really great, thanks for writing all of that up - It seems I'd got a few of the words and acronyms wrong but hopefully now I've got something more to go on! :)
  7. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Thank you, that's my new fact for the day.
  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    New to me as well

    In the British Divisions:
    The Defence/Employment Platoon was an oversized platoon of 5 sections (1 officer & 60 men). One part of it was a standard infantry platoon (3 LMGs) for defense against enemy raids, and the other part was employed as security for senior officers of the brigade.
    In the British Brigades:
    The Defence Platoon was similar to a regular infantry platoon, and employed for local security.

    It can apparently be found here - The British Armies in World War Two: An Organisational History, Volume Two. Polish, Australian, Canadian, South African and Indian Armoured and Cavalry Divisions; British Regular Infantry Divisions.

    Lau and timuk like this.

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